Skills Filmmakers Need – Thinking you have what it takes to be successful in the film industry? If you do have the right stuff to take on the extremely competitive world of film making, I have news for you, it’s not as easy as you think it will be.
But, if you have the will and drive to be successful in the filmmaking world, there are certain film skills that you can constantly work on daily that will improve your chances of a prosperous career in the filmmaking industry.
To be an exceptional filmmaker, you will need to develop certain film skills to get you to the top of the filmmaking game. You need to have a creative side, a skill for telling stories and the determination to accept the rise and fall of this industry with ease.
Plus, you will need to have hands-on skills to tackle the technical aspects of any job on a film set, and the most important skill of all, the ability to communicate and lead by example. The great thing about all of these skills is you can improve on all of them over time.
This post is dedicated to every filmmaker looking to improve upon the filmmaking skills needed to be the best you can be in the film industry.
Top 5 skills filmmakers need to be successful in the film industry
Your Creative Side
Being creative is extremely important to your filmmaking success.
What will set you apart in terms of your creative success, is to think outside the box and be different from the rest!
Don’t let any film school teacher tell you that what has been done since the dawn of movie-making is the only way to make films. That’s why they are teachers and not filmmakers.
What works for me in terms of improving my creative side to filmmaking is to learn from the masters in filmmaking. I study each filmmaker by watching his/her films, as well as watching youtube clips discussing why these filmmakers are so special.
This way I get an understanding, what works in these filmmakers films that set them apart from other filmmakers, and the important part, what would I do differently.
Like what Quentin Tarantino has said, “I steal from every single movie ever made.” “Great artists steal. They don’t do homages.“
Are you a great storyteller? When you are at a social event, are you able to grab the attention of everyone around you by the stories you tell?
The ability to tell a great story is an extremely important part of being a great filmmaker.
The great filmmakers can articulate his/her vision to everyone. Whether its the producers you are pitching to, the film crew on set, the actors who are bringing your vision to life, you need to be able to communicate effectively to bring the story to life!
Do you have an idea or story that just needs to be on the page so it can be seen on the screen? Then you need to learn how to create a great screenplay that has a great beginning and ending, plus a great character arc.
Worried you might not have the skills to do that yet? Don’t worry, as I have constant troubles with putting my vision into a screenplay with every story I create.
What has worked for me? First, screenwriting books from the film industry best helps a lot. There are three screenwriting books I use every time I have a story.
They are Save the Cat: The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need – by Blake Snyder, Story: Style, Structure, Substance, and the Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee, and The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler.
These books are the tools that every screenwriter I know has in his/her back pocket when they need inspiration.
Related Article: 10 Best Screenwriting Books On Amazon – My Go To’s
The next creative screenwriting tool I use is Masterclass. This online teaching school, which practically has instructors for pretty much everything, has three screenwriting courses that I constantly use for every story I try to tell on screen.
David Lynch’s Creativity In Film Class, Aaron Sorkin’s Script Anatomy Class, and Neil Gaiman’s Art Of Storytelling Class are my defaults when I am stuck and need some professional help to guide me through my filmmaking Journey.
If you are serious about filmmaking and don’t have time for film school, Masterclass is worth every penny.
Communication & Networking Skills
One of the most basic filmmaking skills you will need to become a great filmmaker is Communication.
When you are on a film set, there will be multiple people running around, just trying to get the job done. Being an effective communicator not only will help you understand your role on a set but make you stand out from the crowd.
When I am on a film set, no matter what role I am doing, I am always communicating with everyone that I can.
I stay away from the director, actors, producers on the set because they need to be focused at all times, but if you are approachable and have great communication skills, you may be given opportunities you never thought were possible.
Communication skills are just as important as creativity skills when it comes to being a great Filmmaker.
Regardless of which direction you want to take yourself on this incredible journey of filmmaking, every filmmaker needs to build his/her technical skills to become a better filmmaker.
While technical skills can be improved upon daily while on the set, understanding the roles onset and the technical knowledge for each role will help you become a better filmmaker.
For example, I was a production assistant on a film a few years ago, in which they set off a confetti cannon for each take. I had to pick up every piece of confetti on the set and make sure the set was clean before the next take.
The skill I learned from the role of the production assistant was, no matter how you want the shot done, be mindful of the crew around you, they are the ones that will have to clean up after you.
Another thing I wanted to add is, start making films now! This way you can learn every role on the set because you will be wearing multiple hats during production.
Determination To Succeed
I know all the skills needed for filmmaking I have mentioned so far are extremely important for a successful film career, but there is one skill that every filmmaker needs to get to the top of the film industry and that is perseverance!
Why? Because the film industry is a demanding and difficult industry to be part of. The film industry is like a roller coaster, one minute you are on top of the world, and the next you have dropped to a level you never thought was possible.
“The harder I practice, the luckier I get.” — Gary Player
To be successful in the film industry you need to put in the work, as it will not happen overnight, and you will have setbacks along the way.
“All overnight successes take ten years.” — Jeff Bezos
Just remember you are in it to win it!
Do you think you have the skills needed for filmmaking? If you don’t feel that you are not ready yet, don’t worry as there are so many things that can help you to get you where you need to be.
Just remember that all you need is some creativity, an ability to tell a story, some knowledge of roles on a film set, and some perseverance, and you will be holding an Oscar in no time.
And that’s a wrap folks, I hope you enjoyed this filmmaking guide.
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